September 21, 2007

RW Hedges

I haven’t sold a lot of books. But those books I have sold have led to some very great correspondences. I’ve met a lot of people through Myspace. Anyone who thinks it’s a place for teenagers or pathetic self-promotion is wrong. It’s been great. Case in point is RW Hedges. He bought a book and we started writing back and forth. I sent him a link to a song and then he started sending me links to the record he was recording. I’m naturally cynical so I didn’t have great hopes, until I played it, and I thought, hey wait…holy shit…this is great. I was proud to know the man. Last week, he sent me a copy of his upcoming CD, “Almanac,” and I’ve been listening to it nonstop. I don’t write this because he bought my book, I can tell the difference.

RW Hedges has one of the great rock and roll voices, and there aren’t many of them. Reminds me of Ray Davies. Not the actual sound of Ray Davies’ voice, but the feeling, like this seems like a good-hearted person you want to know. Jonathan Richman’s also in there, before he became too cute. But I don’t like comparing people to other people; part of the reason I’m uncomfortable writing about music. And what makes a good rock and roll voice is that it’s entirely unique, which RW Hedges is. Every vocal melody is good, also rare. The music’s kind of liquid. A lot’s going on at once, but you can’t necessarily pick everything apart, really the best sort of orchestration.

I read somewhere that a band should never sound like its record collection. Which is ridiculous. The Beatles sounded like their record collection. Also something entirely new. Same goes for this record. It’s 2007 by way of 66-68. RW Hedges’ record is as good as the Kink’s “Village Green” or “Arthur,” while also having more post-indie rock melancholy, and not sounding at all like retread. It’s its own thing.

You read it here first. Not that this blog’s going to make much of an impact. Thom Yorke’s sending it to his record company (somehow) so RW Hedges is going to be heard, and should be.

I don’t know, I’m just real fucking happy that writing a book has got me in touch with such a good songwriter. Life-affirming, art-affirming. Hardly made a dime, but I’ve made these relationships. Have a listen.

Opening song, Clarissa

#4, these vocals: Love Lies Bleeding

I love this song. Different than the rest of the CD. It’s sort of like the record’s “Tomorrow Never Knows,” except it’s second to last: Swanage Song

More on Myspace.

And a video for "Abe's Dream":


Anonymous said...

You're right on the money, Hank. He does sound like a So-Cal version of Davies and the Kinks. Totally awesome, as the supercool say. I'd buy one of his CDs. And I consider myself to be fairly average, so maybe the record companies will see the light.

Henry Baum said...

Glad that you like it. But just to clarify, he's a Brit, so he comes straight from the source.

Anonymous said...

the man's got a record deal you know.......he's on the same record label as carpetface

Henry Baum said...

I guess that means he doesn't deserve praise. I don't know much about Newbias.

Melissa said...

Selling books is not as easy as most people would first think. Some of my friends are utilizing online help for this. One such site is Nothing I was surprised to see their sales rate go up, but it did. I guess it is worth a look.

Anonymous said...

Great album, got it today. Reminds me of old '50s pop/rock & roll as well as The Beatles and The Kinks.

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